Warm weather dreaming as winter sets in reminded me that last year, I spent five days in Cuba on a quick all-inclusive vacation during Son #2’s week off university. Juggling paying work and my own school work, I didn’t have a lot of spare time but figured it could work.

Between booking the trip and heading to the airport, however, I found out that a major school project would be due the day after my return, for which the professor would not grant an extension. A group project in the other class was due the day I left, and two other papers were due as soon as I got home. Gulp!

Around the same time, entrepreneur Peter Shankman — founder of Help A Reporter Outblogged about people who comment that they are “jealous” when he travels. He says, “They were jealous that I took the trip. As if they couldn’t.”

He went on to bust the top six reasons people say they can’t take a trip or  “jailbreak” their lives: no money, job doesn’t allow it, friends won’t understand, wife and kids, scared, don’t have time. All excuses:

“If you really want to make more time to do the things you ‘have’ to do, thus allowing you to do more of the things you ‘want’ to do, you need to do a few things differently,” he says.

There were reasons not to go on that trip, but I had plenty of reasons to go on that trip, too, and I did. And you know what? The prof miraculously gave the whole class an extension on one of the assignments, I negotiated an extra day on another, all projects got done on time, and I had a great trip.

As I’ve blogged about before about the need for balance, work will always be there, but the choices you have may not be. Don’t miss them. So next time you’re wishing you could do something but don’t think you can, think again. Are you sure?

Image credit: Arvind Balaraman and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.